SUNDAY, JANUARY 28, 1973
LAST December Caroni Limited,
which is now 51% Government-
owned, announced its intention to
make an early start in the reaping
of cane so as to beat the weather
and come up with a bumper crop.
Last year rains hampered the har-
vest, and severe losses were in-
That decision seemed to have been
the signal for labour unrest in the sugar
belt. Now every evening the sky glows
red, and ashes fly in swarms. Caroni
Limited is forced to make an appeal to
the public to bring an end to the burning
of cane. What dung-heaps and cowpiss
are breeding these fireflies?
Cane farmers are clamouring for an
increase in the price. They now get about
$16 per ton. However, they are asking
for $22.40. They claim that it costs
them roughly $15 to produce a ton of
The Central Statistical Office did a
survey in '71 and came up with a cost of
production figure of about $13 overall.
Assuming an average yield of 25 tons per
acre, it seems that farmers are not mak-
ing profits. Not surprisingly they are try-
ing to cut cost. Traditionally one of the
ways of doing this is by burning the
standing cane which simplifies the har-
vesting and so reduces the wages bill.
Cannes Brules or Camboulay is nothing
new in sugar-producing colonies. The
burning of cane has always been an act
of frustration by planters, an act of lib-
eration by workers whether they be
slave, indentured, or statute-bound. The
motives are economic and political.
Through centuries of toil and torture,
under the blistering sun and the whip-
lash of wind and rain, exploited workers
who actually work by the chain have
discovered a most effective means ofpro-
test against degrading conditions.
They burn cane, destroy the yellow
crystals which the English planted as if
to compensate for the loss of El Dorado
which Raleigh sought in vain. What is
really happening is that the common
people are condemning the Government's
agricultural policy. Consign it to the
flame, to hell with it!
vuI nl The
Keith Smith writes
Pages 6& 7
The annual general meet-
ing of Tapia comes off at
the House on Sunday 18th
February, at 9.30 a.m.
Forms will be circulated
to all members and associates
so that they may put them-
selves in good standing in
time for the meeting.
The agenda for the meet-
ing is published on Page 2
of this issue.
Tapia Elections for the year 1973 take place at the annual
general meeting to be held at the Tapia House, Tunapuna, on
18th February. The outgoing executive are as follows:-
Chairman .......................... Syl Lowhar
Deputy Chairman .................. Arthur Atwell
Deputy Chairman ................... Volney Pierre
Secretary .......................... Lloyd Best
Assistant Secretary ................... Lloyd Taylor
Community Relations Secretary .......... Ivan Laughlin
Director Tapia Enterprises ............... Clyde Payne
Education Secretary ................. Denis Solomon
Research Secretary .......... Augustus Ramrekersingh
Secretary, The Executive ......... .Sheilah Solomon
Editor ................... ....... Lennox Grant
Amenities Secretary ................ Ruthven Baptiste
Public Relations Secretary ............. Pat Downes
Treasurer ....................... Ernest Massiah
Administrative Secretary ............... Allan Harris
Warden ...................... Esther Le Gendre
Members who, in 1972, were co-opted to form the political
ity, Hosein suggested as ex-
amples of community work,
the providing of aid to the
needy, and the donating of
sports equipment to schools.
Hosein called on drivers to
unite in order to provide for
their collective security and
In the elections which fol-
lowed, a provisional executive
committee of five was chosen.
The officers who will guide
the affairs of the infant asso-
ciation for the next six months
are: George Pope President;
Shahid Hosein Vice-Presi-
dent; Oliver D'arceuil Secre-
tary; George Morris Assistant
Secretary and Seelochan Bissoo
The Association co-opted
Lloyd Best, Tapia Secretary,
as Economic Adviser.
Speaking after his election,
George Pope recalled that sev-
eral organizations had been
formed in the past and had
died. In each case, all the
responsibility had fallen on the
shoulders of one man. To sur-
vive, the United Taxi-Drivers
Association would have to act
Pope warned the members
of the executive that they had
to be prepared for hard work.
The President looked for-
ward to the day when the
objectionable term "pirate taxi"
would cease to be used.
Lloyd Best reported on the
visit by a delegation of taxi-men
to the Ministry of Works.
Though unable to meet the
Minister in person, the dele-
gation had spoken with him by
telephone, and had arranged
a meeting with him for Monday,
Lloyd Best hoped that the
delegation to meet the Minister
would have the full support of
their colleagues on the appoint-
Noting that people were or-
ganizing themselves all across
the land, Best called on the.
United Taxi-Drivers Association
to get organized, not only to
deal with the Minister on Jan-
uary 29, but also to ensure the
continued existence of their
Association in order to achieve
their long-term goals.
Turn to page 5
IN THE face of mount-
ing financial burdens and
increasing chaos on the
roads, taxi-drivers plying
the Eastern Main Road have
formed themselves into the
United Taxi Drivers Assoc-
At a meeting at the
Tapia House, Tunapuna,
last Saturday afternoon,
over fifty drivers agreed to
the formation of the asso-
ciation, which will, among
other things, provide a bar-
gaining body, and work
towards improving the rela-
tionship between drivers
and the wider public.
To date, almost ninety
drivers from the East have
signed membership appli-
cations, and the number
is expected to grow.
Making the opening address
at Saturday's meeting, Shahid
Hosein, who has been instru-
mental in bringing the drivers
together, pointed to the taxi-
men's lack of status.
Hosein asserted that taxi-
drivers performed as much of
a public service as did teachers,
nurses or the police.
Why, then, did drivers not
enjoy the respect of the com-
munity? Why was it that parents
turned up their noses if their
daughters brought home taxi-
Stressing the need for greater
involvement with the commun-
PAGE 2 TAPIA
THE traditional Tapia
Open House sessions have
been continuing on Thurs-
day nights. With one dif-
Now members and as-
sociates contemplate the
state of the nation while
folding the pages of TAPIA
to appear on the streets
the next morning.
In a remarkable exam-
ple of cooperative mental
labour and manual, we have
been assembling in shifts
from as early as 7 p.m.
every Thursday to begin
"breaking the back" of the
centre-page spread, norm-
ally the first to come off
Coffee and breadfruit
cheese and White Star; com-
ments on the current paper
and reflection on the move-
ment generally; these have
enlivened the sessions which
on late weeks have run to
the "small" hours of the
Nevertheless, the Thurs-
-day. night -sessions have
been growing in number of
of members, friends and
associates, and you can,
too, if you wish join the
movement to the Tapia
House, 91 Tunapuna Road,
Secretary Ivan Laughlin is
asking all members and
associates who would like
to help distribute TAPIA
on Friday mornings to get
in contact with him or
Allan Harris at the office,
82-84 St. Vincent Street,
The "South-run" now
legendary in the organ-
isation since Ivan's story,
has developed into an im-
portant political exercise.
Laughlin and others who
accompany him establish
and service a series of
political contacts whose
association with Tapia is
made on the basis of dis-
tributing the paper in their
However, there remain
many other areas in which
outlets have to be opened
up, and the call goes out
for members and support-
ers to come and take part
in this properly unconven-
tional method of distri-
buting "the review of un-
conventional politics" and
in expanding the move-
Allyou need to do is to
give a few hours early on
Friday mornings and to
supply transport if you
* 9.00- 9.30
* 9.30 11.00
* 11.00 11.30
* 11.30- 1.00
* 1.00- 3.00
* 3.00- 4.00
* 4.00- 5.00
SUNDAY JANUARY 28, 1973
vwL1 :U -C b j I t
1. Chairman ................... Syl Lowhar
2. Administrative Secretary ...... Allan Harris
3. Editor ................... Lennox Grant
4. Community Relations ....... Ivan Laughlin
5. Tapia Constitution ........ Denis Solomon
L U N C H
THE GOVERNMENT insists that there is no con-
flict between the desirable goal of growing food for
home consumption and the promotion of export
crops. But there is. The best agricultural lands in the
country are under sugar, cocoa and coffee. The best
farmers are squatting at Aranguez, Paget and elsewhere,
languishing on the edges of the sugar plantations with-
out help of any kind, not credit, not extension
services, not marketing.
.The youth, Indian and
African, are showing a hunger
for land. Mere changes in land
tenure ownership of Orange
Grove and part take-over from
Tait and Lyle are.useless. What tors including the multinatic
is the point in borrowing $22 corporations of our time h
million to revitalise Caroni? perfected the technique ofc
To produce cheap sugar for ing wolf, and of indulging
Europeans? What we need is what Ragatz calls "frantic
sweeping land reform to alter peals to all classes", so as
the uses to which land is now put. wangle bounties, preferen
guaranteed prices and spe
POULTRY favours of every kind. In t]
advisory capacity, they virtu
The real reason why we have control the Ministry of A
been unable to develop dairy and culture. They have access
livestock industry is because we the corridors of power,
have been afraid to tamper with their influence can override
the lands under the control of caveat of the astutest of ]
the sugar barons. Just imagine manent Secretaries.
what herds of cattle and buffalo Everytime we have reach
we can raise on the plains of the juncture where genuine
Caroni! What extensive fields versification from sugar becor
of mechanised corn and pigeon possible, those who would k
peas (not soya) we could have us in subjection have ordai
where the cane grass now so that the prospects for rem;
luxuriantly grows! ing in sugar are bright.
We import 100 million pounds When in 1846, Britain
of corn every year at a cost of
over $6 million. Is it not pos-
sible to save some of the foreign 0 put the lands in the
exchange and invest in corn hands of the farm
cultivation here? How long can
we continue to have our pig, ers;
poultry .and dairy industries 0 place the factory in
dependent-on such a large pro- the control of the
portion of imported feed in- workers;
N eliminate gangster
ARTHUR LEWIS unionism.once and
Once again in our history limit export acreage;
the West India Question is with
us; sugar, is in trouble. The N phase in output for
writing has been on the wall home consumption
ever since Britain began her bid by diversification;
to enter the European Economic
Community, which is gearing N rationalise and mec
up to promote its own beet hanise sugar;
,sugar industry. Yet we are run-
ning up to Brussels with our U irrigate the Caron
coat-tails between our legs beg- plain;
going for protection from the
very nations which have come U block out essential
together so that they might imports of food and
continue to defend their status materials;
and their privilege in the world. create genuine
This Williams once described create geuie local
as the "philosophy of Colo- government and con
ialism". munity development;
Those who are bawling for
protection have been doing so N introduce national
for more than 200-years, ever service to allow pool
since the Peace of Paris. This people to capitalism
burning question of what to do their labour and te
with sugar has survived Ameri- allow a rapid shift ii
can. Independence (1776), San patterns ofeducatioi
Domingo (1791), Abolition of patterns o education
Slave Trade (1804), Emancipa- apprenticeship, and
tion (1838), Adult Suffrage consumer taste;
(1944), the Cuban Revolution stp
(1959), Independence (1962), discminatin
and Localisation (1970). It has against Indians an(
survived the famous Eric Wil- Indian areas;
liams-Arthur Lewis Plan, noised 0 bring back the Afri
so much in the budget speech can population into
of 1958, to take sugar "out ofan organic lati
politics",. an organic relation
Spol cs with the land and
Over the long span, the
planters, their agents and fact- the place.
SUNDAY JANUARY 28, 1973
tered an era of Free Trade and
withdrew imperial protection
from Colonial markets, West
Indian sugar virtually collapsed.
She preferred to promote beet
sugar, and to buy cheaper slave-
produced sugar for her tea, we
attempted to furnish tea itself
- cocoa and coffee. We diver-
sified: When it suited Britain to
restore protection we automa-
tically went back in business.
Now that Britain has en-
tered the Common Market in
Europe there are real fears that
we may have to face competi-
tion from efficiently produced
low-cost Cuban sugar. We have
therefore taken in front by
establishing diplomatic relations
with Castro. This can be the
only reason since it is well
known that Williams and the
PNM are hostile to the ideology
of the Cuban Revolution, and
were not long ago talking about
guerillas in the hills.
In his budget speech, Mr.
Chambers indulges an optimism
which is totally misplaced. Per-
haps he has forgotten the warn-
ing of his master in the 1958
Budget Speech. "But excessive
optimism is not justified in
any such commodity as sugar
whose political and economic
fortunes in the past 160 years
have been known by West In-
dian producers better than any
other producers in any part of
TAPIA PAGE 3
West Indian sugar producers
know indeed. But the one thing
the plantations have always
been a little slow to do is to
make production efficient. It
is not that they are lacking in
business enterprise or technical
skill, but that they and their
senior staff have grown so accus-
tomed to profit-making, privi-
lege, and lordly living that they
cannot afford the efficiency
which will create a new social
This is the main reason why so
little has been done about inter-
cropping, and about the by-
products of sugar bagasse
board, sugarcane tops and mo-
lasses for livestock, plastics,
paper from furfural.
Now that the Government
has taken over ownership of
the sugar estates, it has neither
the popular support nor the
moral authority to transform
But the February Revolu-
tion has pointed to the changes
which we need to make. It has
exposed the utter idiocy of the
policy of trying to organise
agriculture by way of Crown
Lands Programmes on the sands
of Waller Field.
We have now reached a stage
where the farmers are not pre-
pared to take it any longer.
They are literally fighting fire
with fire. The canefires are the
popular response to official
pressure and punishment. They
cannot be halted by frantic
appeals to all classes. Only a
genuine reorganisation can arrest
this disastrous trend.
But that is not for the PNM.
The hardwuk of National Re-
construction is Tapia business.
HAVE A DEMONSTRATION TODAY
NATIONWIDE AGENTS AND STOCKISTS
S You always
A wanted her
makes it eas,
--i ar- 1 ,-1I
I~ __ _
1 anu an memt~u
PAGE 4 TAPIA
SUNDAY JANUARY 28,1973
PERHAPS the US war
records say: "May 4, 1972,
Cam Plia mechanical plant
destroyed during air raid".
But, inside a nearby
mountain, the lathes are
working on. Though there
is no electricity in the
town, generators are being
used for the machines.
THIR 9W RLD
"In three days we moved
the machines into the caves. We
had experience in doing it be-
cause we had to do the same
thing years ago when Lyndon
Johnson ordered the first esca-
lation", says Nuynh Nhu Ngon,
Director of the plant, who has
his glasses on the tip of his
nose after consulting a notebook.
The machine-shop is impreg-
nable. It makes parts for lorry
Twentieth Century man has returned to the cave.., with a new mentality
engines, along with screws and
parts requested by other fac-
More than 800 people work
in the plant, about 40 percent
of them inside the caves. The
rest work outside, but they are
well protected by the mountain
slopes. Of the work force, 250
are young women, and their
smiles light up the dark caves.
Nobody from the plant has
been killed during the current
escalation. "Some of the work-
ers have been injured, but that
was when they were at home.
The raids have not affected
production", says the Director.
The plant's workers formed
a militia unit for anti-aircraft
fighting. In June of last year,
they brought down their first
We asked the Director about
the plant's plans for the period
of reconstruction when peace
"We've got two plans. First
we want to get production back
to its initial levels. That means
we've got to rebuild the factory.
After that we are thinking
about building a new plant, a
much more modern one. We've
already got plans drawn up for
To visit the machine shop
you have to go down a staircase
cut out of the rock face. Every
comer of the caves is being
There are lathes of many
types, old French ones as well
as modern ones from the Soviet
Union and GDR. !
There is constant movement,
with little railway engines carry-
ing the machines away from
the cave entrance. The caves
are well ventilated.
"Because of the blockade,
we've had to make some parts
that we used to import. That
means we've had to face up to
some difficulties, but little by
little we've overcome them",
says the Director.
A red pennant is presented
each month to the most out-
standing section, following a
check on productivity and other
Amplifiers are used to trans-
mit radio programmes and des-
pite the material difficulties,
the workers have even managed
to organise some cultural act-
Twentieth Century man has
returned to the caves, but with
lathes, machines and a new
OUR ONLY PATTERN
* INVEST IN
Clico a company of
West Indians, formed for the
economic upliftment of PEOPLE.
Growing from humble beginnings to one
of the largest financial institutions indigenous to
the Caribbean. Assets for the security of our
policy holders now total over
60 MILLION DOLLARS
The Growth is UP
SUDA JNARM2,L Y73 TAPAPG
UNEMPLOYMENT is the
scourge of the land, a plague
and a curse. When you can-
not get steady work, you
have to bend because you
have to beg.
There are still over 50,000
people unemployed in the
country now. Another 70,000
are only working part-time.
Probably one in five of
the unemployed have never
worked and know only
wappie and whe-whe.
One third of the under 19's
are unemployed; a quarter of
of the 20-25's. The young are
getting the rope.
Sugar factories, sugar estates
and the oil fields are employing
fewer and fewer. Between 1960
and 1968, they together drop-
ped over 5,500 men.
Manufacturing is expanding
but with automation, most new
factories take only a handful
Even on the featherbedded
Crown Lands, who want to
work garden now?
Self employment is declin-
ing because the education sys-
tem has expanded. More peo-
ple are coming out of schools
and Universities with certific-
They have neither the skill
nor the will to build something
with their own hands.
In 1946, for every 100 wage
earners there were 40 self-
employed; by 1960, there were
The drag brothers and the
food vendors have been launch-
ing a counter attack lately but
the price of independence is
:: The PNM Government sim-
ply refuses to take unemploy-
ment seriously. The Third Five
Year Plan of 1969 estimated
that by 1983, we would need
200,000 new jobs; 100,000 by
It was calculated that if we
went on as planned, it would
cost $4,600 million to provide
those jobs by 1983.
But instead of drastically
changing the plan, they simply
said that "it is not possible to
envisage the full solution of the
unemployment, problem until
1983 to 1985" (p. 34).
When the Plan was published
some of us warned them that
the country could not wait till
1983. As usual, they paid no
Then the explosion of 1970
blew the Five Year Plan sky
Again the official response
has been a bramble. An un-
THE Self i
THE has its
and d is
Employment Levy and crash-
programmes on a grander scale
than ever before. A total waste-
down in fact.
But a waste-down with a
difference. The manoeuvrers haw
caught on to the gimmick of
The average worker now
works five days out of every
14. This means that you employ
three times the number of
people than you would if the
employment were full-time.
When the statistics men go
around to measure unemploy-
ment, they will find triple the
number of people "employed"
than they used to.
Arid hey presto, the figures
show that unemployment "con-
tinues to be a serious problem"
but the rate is not rising.
The figures also show that
the Government is now the
great deliverer of the people.
Over 90,000 people are now
working in the public sector,
comfortably over a quarter of
the labour force. More power
to the Cabinet, more patronage
to the party.
And now the crash programme
technique is spreading, Texaco
and the oil companies are also
This week you on, next
week you off. You are a full-
time part-timer and they say
"unemployment is being solved
before 1983 quicker than we
* Look out for Tapia's
plan for a rapid solution
to the unemployment pro-
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'SUNDAY JANUARY 28,1-973
;1:TAPUA PAGE 5;
PAGE 6 TAPIA
WHAT IS a motor car? This is a surprisingly
difficult question to answer even if we restrict
ourselves to Trinidad.
For Lord Kitchener, it is "PP 99", a red
Jaguar XJ6 4.2 litre with a top speed of about
125 mph. Clearly Kitchener is not going to use
all that performance, but the Jaguar befits his
image as Road March King.
For one market vendor, it is an old PE or PF
Morris Oxford station wagon which is normally
loaded down to its bump rubbers (if there are
still any) with vegetables.
Between these two extremes lie the four
wheeled possessions of most Trinidadians.
A motor car consists of an engine and a body. The
engine usually propels the body via a gearbox (manual)
or automatic) which drives the wheels.
In most cases, only the back wheels are driven, the
power passing down the centre of the car via a pro-.
pellor shaft. In the centre of the back axle, the differen-
tial allows one wheel to go faster than the other when
the car is taking a corner (or unfortunately, when
stuck in the mud).
In some cases the engine drives the front wheels.
Several of the pewer cars have this feature. Examples
are the Renault 12 and 16, the Mini, the Austin 1100,
1300 and 1800 and the new Volkswagen K20.
All front wheel drive cars require complicated joints
in the front wheels so that they can be driven when
they are locking and turning the car. Other cars have
the engine in the back e.g., the Renault 10 and the
Volkswagen, where it drives the back wheels.
By Oliver Headley
Engines can be almost any size. They range from the
tiny 0.3 litre (300 cc) of some Japanese home market
cars, through the 500 cc of some of the Fiats and the
850 cc of the Mini to the 3000 cc of some Holdens,
the 4200 cc of the Jaguar up to the 8000 oc of the
Generally speaking, the bigger the car, the bigger
the engine and the bigger the engine, the more power
it gives. The Cadillac has over 400 brake horse power
(bhp) while the 300 cc engines have less than 30 bhp.
American cars being bigger, have bigger engines. They
favour six or eight cylinders and their average engine
size is about 3000 cc.
European and Japanese cars being smaller, have
smaller engines, their average engine size is about 1500
cc and most have four cylinders. The size of the
engine depends not only on the number of cylinders
but on their size.
Thus the Cadillac and the US Rover both have
eight cylinders but the Rover is only 3500 cc while
the Cadillac is 8000 cc, i.e., more than twice as big.
Similarly the Mini and the Rover 2000 both have
four cylinders but the Mini is only 850 cc and the
Rover is 2000 cc, again more than twice as big.
The gearbox can be two, four or five speed.
Generally speaking, the bigger the engine, the fewer
gears it needs. Some big American cars with automatic
gearboxes and engines over 5000 cc have only two
There are exceptions to this rule. The new E-type
Jaguar with a V12 engine of 5300 cc has four gears,
but these are for acceleration and high top speed
(about 150 mph).
An engine as big as that could get along with two
gears, (the Jaguar will pull from 10 mph in high gear).
With a small engine the gear box allows the engine to
spin faster in the low gears and so gives more power
for accelerating and climbing.
Engines may be air cooled like the Volkswagen or
water cooled like most other cars. Air cooling is simple
but water cooling makes the engine quieter.
The grade of gasoline required by the engine
depends on its compression ratio. Old cars usually
have low compression ratios and will run on regular.
Normal cars have medium compression ratios and will
run on 50:50 or 3 parts super to one part regular.
In Trinidad people prefer big cars even
when they cannot afford them.
Pure super is for high compression, high performance
engines. Burning pure super in a normal family car is
doubly expensive. The gas costs more, and the special
additives in the "super" form acids when they burn
and these rust out the mufflers.
Owners of some European and Japanese cars who
think their cars -have more performance than they
really have find themselves buying new muffler back
barrels every six or eight months because they persist
in burning pure super; its part of their "performance
At the other end of the scale, are people who like
to run their cars uphill in high gear until it almost stalls,
or move their cars in second gear. Both of these
practices are usually to show how powerful the car is.
Both are bad for.the engine bearings and the second is
also bad for the clutch.
Even Mercedes insists that their powerful sport cars
be moved off in first gear even though they could
easily move in second.
In the old days, motor cars had a separate frame,
termed the chassis, to which the body was bolted or
welded. To speed up production and to reduce rattles,
most manufactures now use an integral body shell.
Here, sections of'the sheet metal body are strengthened
and when the whole thing is welded, one gets a strong
and rigid body.
The only problem is that the welds are not con-
tinuous in a normal family car, but only certain points
are welded (spot welding). The body is therefore not as
A survey of our cars-
from Lord Kitchener's
to the farmer's
strong as it could be.
It is interesting that Ford of England use continuous
welding for the body seams of their competition
Escorts which are exposed to very bad roads.
One weakness of spot welds may be demonstrated
by a collision in which a popular family saloon came
out of a side road and collided with the back wheels of
a passing truck.
The truck sustained no damages but the whole
front of the car was torn off without breaking the
windscreen. No one was hurt; the welds were just too
In view of the state of our roads, the local assembly
industry should consider using continuous welding on
vital body seams.
In Trinidad, people tend to prefer big cars (when
they can afford them and sometimes even when they
can't) because they give a better ride and because
they have more prestige.
Because of purchase tax increases, only Government
travelling officers and the really rich will be able to
afford them now. But the rest of us can still aspire.
Generally speaking, the heavier a car, the better it
rides. A Volkswagen Beetle will therefore never ride
like a Cadillac or a Jaguar. Because the body of the
the bigger car is too heavy to follow the wheels in and
out of every bump and pothole, it tends to stay level
and let the wheels move up and down.
One can arrange things so that the body stays as
level as possible and that the wheels move as much as
possible by making the part that moves with the wheel
as light as possible. So the wheel can go down and back
up without disturbing the body too much.
In the old days, before people worried about ride,
(they were far more concerned about reaching without
a breakdown), most cars used beam front axles with
semi-elliptical or "cart" springs. These can still be seen
on buses and trucks. This axle is very reliable, but the
whole thing hops up and down, so that on a bad road
the ride is uncomfortable. (Try a land Rover on a dirt
track if you don't know what I mean).
Even if air conditioning is a luxury,
a car should keep its cool.
Whenever one wheel moves, the other has to as well
because the beam axle joins them together. If you
cut the beam axle into two halves and use a coil spring
on each half, you get a much better ride.
The ride is even better if you mount a shock
absorber on the axle near the wheel to stop the spring
from rebounding with a jerk. The half of the axle is
now a suspension arm. This is hinged to the chassis at
the inside end.
This system is called a Mc Pherson stunt. The ride is
better but the wheels are much more sensitive to pot-
holes since they miss the steadying effect of the two
One can steady it by running another arm from the
chassis to the wheel. This gives a double-arm or double
cradle or double wish bone suspension system. The
same ride as the single-arm one but is far less pothole
sensitive; it is also more expensive.
Most cars use this nowadays. Those using the
Mc Pherson stunt as the English Fords except the new
Cortina, the Hunter, the Mazda, the Datsun and,
surprisingly, the new Volkswagen K70.
To do the same thing to the back axle is an expen-
sive exercise, after all the back wheels are driven. If the
back axle is split and each half allowed to move by
itself, each wheel must have its own drive shaft with
special joints (almost as complicated as front wheel
You can save money by making the
car front wheel drive.
This kind of back axle is seen on the Jaguar and the
Datsun 1600. For this reason the ride in a Jaguaris
beautiful. The car is heavy and each wheel is free to
move as it pleases. The body is almost totally undis-
turbed by bumps in the road.
One can save money by making the car front wheel
drive and keeping all the complications in front. The
back axle can then be abandoned and each back wheel
hung at the end of a single-arm. The Renault 16 and 6
and the Austin (Mini, 1100, 1300 and 1800) use this.
The engine is in front and there is no drive shaft
running down the middle and wasting space. All the
wheels are free to move as they please, so the ride is good.
The Renault 16-goes even further than the Austin,
in that they give each wheel so much freedom of
movement that any wheel can reach the bottom of a
six-inch deep pothole and scarcely disturb the rest of
the car. The Renault 16 therefore has the best ride of
any car in its price range (and better than several more
for bad roads either. The 1970 Holden
was in most respects a good car for
Trinidad, large enough to be used as a
comfortable taxi, good ground clearance,
sound suspension system, large radiator.
In lowering the 1972 model to make it
prettier the manufacturer seems to have
forgotten that there are bad roads in
some parts of the world. In most-ways,
this is unforgivable because Australia
(its country of origin) has plenty of
Most of our popular cars show signs
of being unadapted, to Trinidad. The
MK2 Cortina, while a very popular
main road taxi, is seldom seen in bad
road areas because its Mc Pherson stunt
suspension is pothole sensitive.
In rough areas, the Austin Cambridge
Morris Oxford and the Holden are much
Why can't we
design a model
BY THIS time, we know a bit
more about a car. What we have
not said is that most of the cars
sold in Trinidad are not designed
for our hot climate.
Europe is cold, so every car over
there has a heater, Trinidad is hot
but only expensive cars feature
Even where the manufacturer makes
an air conditioned middle-sized car (as
does one Japanese manufacturer who
exports this kind to Pakistan) the local
assembly industry prefers to ignore it
and lets us fry whether we want to or
Even if air conditioning is a luxury,
the car itself should keep its cool, both
in traffic jams or on long climbs like
"that on the way to Maracas Bay. Over-
heating in traffic is because the engine is
not spinning the fan fast enough to cool
the radiator. Overheating on long climbs
means the radiator is too small (presum-
ing the rest of the engine is okay).
British Leyland's Morris 1000 has a
radiator about twice the size of that
fitted to their Morris 1100. Both cars
have the same 1098 cc engine. Needless
to say, the 1100 overheats on the way
to Maracas Bay if it is loaded or driven
These ills can be cured by a radiator
cooled by a thermostatic electric fan.
The fan cools when the radiator gets
got, irrespective of engine or road speed.
In Trinidad only the Renault 16 has
this system. One can solve the problem
if the radiator is big; there is so much
water to heat up, it never gets a chance
to boil. Holdens use this system.
Most of the front wheel drive cars
can have sealed cooling systems. Steam
from the radiator is collected in a con-
tainer and when it cools the radiator
sucks it back up.
An Austin 1100 or 1300 in good
It is interesting that the MK2 Cortina
with its column gear level was very
popular taxi, but the MK3 which only
seems to come with the floor shift
option, is seldom seen as a taxi. This
must have cost the local agents a lot of
business. Surely they could have insisted
that the manufacturer supply them with
a car suited to local needs?
Most of the faults mentioned above
are inherent in the manufacturer's pro-
duct. Quite a few of our problems, how-
ever, originate in our assembly plants.
Chief of these is rust.
In Northern Europe and Canada,
where they salt the roads in winter to
get rid of ice, cars rust in from the
outside because of the salt.
In Trinidad, where there is no road
salted, but plenty of rain, cars rust out
from the inside since water collects in
water traps like the insides of the doors,
inside the box sills, along the lower
edges of the body and inside the corners
of the trunk.
Two things are responsible for this.
Firstly, the car leaks and lets water into
these spaces and secondly, the paint in
these spaces is too thin (or non-existent)
to give any protection to the metal, so
in six months the car is full of "rat
Rust in the box sills is a very serious
matter because, in the absence of a sepa-
rate chassis, these form part of the
frame. The car is, therefore, seriously
The relatively large number of car
assembly plants in the country is respon-
sible for this rust problem. With one
large plant, the production rate would
be high enough for a bath painting
process to apply under-coats to be
The whole car gets painted since it is
dipped in a bath. This is now standard
for large manufacturers. With so many
plants in the country, no one can afford
to paint a car properly. Leaky cars are
of course just bad workmanship.
a A -
condition only needs radiator water
about once or twice per year, a Renault
16 almost never does. In this guise,
water cooling is almost as convenient as
Local assembly firms should, how-
ever, insist that the radiators fitted to
the cars they import are adequate for
the hot Trinidad climate since manu-
facturers are, in general, reducing radia-
Most. of our cars are not designed
Another complaint concerns the high
failure rate of major components on
some locally assembled cars. Examples
are "sealed for life" front suspension
joints which fail after about 3,000 or
4,000 miles. Some of this originates
with the manufacturer, since "sealed
for life" joints do not last as long as life.
Manufacturers of high quality motor
cars (Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Jaguar)
therefore avoid them even though they
save on service. Carelessness in assembly
9UARY 28, 1973
TAPIA PAGE 7
- not enough lubricant, or allowing
dust to enter the joint, will seriously
reduce its life.
The local assembly plants should pay
more attention to this aspect of the
problem. Volkswagen, who have an
excellent reputation for reliability, insist
on clinical standards of cleanliness dur-
ing the assembly of their vehicles. It is
no wonder that they last so well.
An even more serious problem con-
cerns some of our locally assembled
Japanese cars. Cars of this type, when
imported into the USA or Western
Europe, have front wheel disc brakes
Most of a car's stopping power is of
same size site. With hand pad materials
disc brakes are much more fade resistant
than drum brakes. (Fade occurs when a
brake gets so hot that the lining no
longer grips the drum and the wheel will
When braking from high speed, the
car's momentum is converted into heat
in the brakes which therefore become
very hot. I have seen photographs of the
brake discs of high performance cars
(Mercedes, Jaguar) running red hot and
I know of an occasion when one of
these drum-braked, Japanese small cars
refused to stop at the junction of
Princess Margaret and Churchill Roose-
velt Highways. On inquiring at the agents
to see if they could fit the disc brake
option, they said that they did not
import them normally and would have
to order them specially.
ONE ASSEMBLY PLANT
When one considers that this car will
do nearly 90 mph and that the manu-
facturers report almost complete des-
truction as far back as the front of the
back doors, if it hits a concrete barrier
at 50 mph, one wonders if the local
assembly people.are not guilty of crimi-
Tyres have been a sore point for
some time. A set of Michelin X radial
will give 50,000 miles on a well aligned
front suspension system if used on good
roads. Even on bad road, 30,000 miles
is often obtained.
To get Michelin X these days, you
have to buy a new Renault and after
they wear out you have to buy local.
If we say that 50,000 or even 30,000
is "excellent", then "good" should be
15,000 to 20,000 miles. What grade do
we give 6,000 to 8,000 miles? Mediocre
or bad! Surely the local tyre men can do'
Of course, in a badly aligned front
suspension system, even good tyres will
wear out quickly. I have heard several
cases of a certain Mc Pherson suspended
car eating out front tyres in 2,000 to
3,000 miles. What makes it worse is
that repeated visits to the local agents
failed to cure the alignment problem.
This is very serious. If you are going
to sell a car you should at least know
how to repair it. It is usually cheaper
Continued on Page 11 >
PAGE 8 TAPIA
TO THE average worker on the South-East Coast, the
employment picture could not be more confused. What
with the AMOCO off-shore drilling and the large number
of contractors doing different things, you can never be
sure what really going on.
But whatever scene you on, racket is a must,that you can be sure.
The kickback racket. The one that says that before you could land a
job, you have to agree to give back the recruiting man $40 or maybe
$50 from your pay.
But you have to come up with the cash before you start to work.
No chances taken, no risks.
Is like another Prime Minis-
ter Special Crash Programme.
Even down to the traffic light
system: now you going, now
you stop. Seven days on, seven
Contractors like peas. On
shore, Alves and Campbell, the
Minister's brother. They are
doing the road surfacing at
Raymond is doing the jetty,
Chicago Bridge Company are
installing the storage vats. Dril-
ling there, you have Sanders &
Foster and Four Squares.
Outside, on the sea, Texaco
is doing some drilling for
AMOCO and Tesoro is on its
own scene. And then you have
Cactus, Skinner, and Santa Fe
in drilling. Santana are also
there operating a floating barge
and Haliburton Tucker are put-
ting down some marine installa-
With all this commotion
going on and nastying up the
Manzanilla-Mayaro beach, they
not even employing 400 people
No one company has many
more than 50 men out there.
Things sweet too bad for the
SUNDAY JANUARY 28,1973
seven days on the off shore platforms
recruiters. They can get away
Every Thursday and Friday
morning you can see six or
seven men liming out at the
heliport. Sometimes maybe 10,
hanging around hopefully. The
majority of the brothers just
don't bother to go anymore.
"Is a big gamble," said one,
"and in any case, we jus' eh
have the bread to advance."
Every Monday morning at
AMOCO you might meet up to
75 men milling around, hoping
against hope. If you get a
break, you can make $368 for
seven days at sea; $240 if you
If you manage to get one of
the shifts on land, is $75 per
week and the work is more
But most of the recruiters
bring their drinking partners
with them from Fyzabad and
San Fernando. "And they does
only drink whisky."
The men from Mayaro and
Guayaguayare say they have
most luck with Texaco, down
in The Fields, past New Lands
and the Guayaguayare Village
proper. They know the ropes
better. The Texaco oilfield is
one of the oldest in the country.
In 1966,,there was the up-
surge in activity, famous for
reviving the economy in election
year. On a Monday morning
anything like 200 men would
gamble their luck on the 10-
weeks crash programme which
was going on for a few years
until they suspended it just
before Christmas last year.
PENAL BROTHERS SUFFERING
"SEX and ganja is all that young people in the country areas have
to do". This is how one 20-year old Syne Village, Penal youth sum-
med up the experiences of unemployed young people to two Tapia
men last Friday.
Seated in a roadside bamboo hut, constructed by the brothers
themselves as a living and liming centre, the four youths described
their failure to get employment from T&TEC's Penal power station.
"Two years now they have down our names to get a three-months,
but instead of taking on people in the area, the engineer employs
people from Fyzabad and Princes Town and all about.
Attempts by the brothers to employ themselves in making
, sandals like the "Drag Brothers" came to nothing, they said.
Now they spend their time talking away the hours, or just going
down to Quinam "just to walk about, not even to bathe or anything'.
.......... .. .. .. ,-i...,.....
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-; f. .. -i.'. .. -, .
VIOLA 1021 CRESTA COFFEE TABLE
4 A :" ; o'r
e ,. ic S.
-, .o .. ,u "t"e-Nation
- -- --
They say activity is tailing
off; crude production is falling.
If you get a chance on a 10-
week project, you will get $71
per week until the time up and
somebody else will get a break.
SSame price, skilled or un-
skilled. Everybody, in fact, is
recruited as unskilled labour,
usually as a "helper".
"On the job, we do skilled
work like painting, carpentry,
welding, mechanic and plumb-
ing", reported a gang of brothers
who hang out on the Fallen
Tree over the road from Victor
Campbell in New Lands.
"We also do road repairing,
cutlassing and any little thing
So what are the brothers
doing about it? The question
was put to two Tapia associates,
sipping beers in Mayaro.
"Well, up to now we were
just grumbling. We had to satis-
fy with what we get because
it did not have any other way
SUNDAY JANUARY 28,1973
Burnham and 'the
wolf of Bookers'
A CAMPAIGN has been
launched in Guyana to re-
turn the sugar lands to the
Leading the campaign is
Eusi Kwayana, (formerly
Sydney King) one of the
celebrated figures in the
Already a legend for his
integrity, Kwayana is the ascetic
Elder who now co-ordinates the
ASCRIA is a society whose
programme for the restoration
of black dignity in the'New
World includes an expansion
of cultural relations with Inde-
Based in famous Buxton,
ASCRIA has established small
co-operative industries and or-
ganizes self-help education up
to secondary level.
It is sustained by the noble
traditions of those slaves on
the East Coast Demerara who,
READ NEXT WEEK TAPIA
FOR CUBA'S ECONOMIC
PROJECTIONS FOR 1973
after Emancipation, subscribed
enormous capitals to establish
their independence on the land.
Kwayana has now written a
letter to the Minister of Local
Government, denouncing the
"colonial-type alliance" between
the Burnham Government and
the foreign sugar companies and
demanding that land be ti
from the sugar producers
of charge and at no cost".
ASCRIA supports the d
loping of land for resi
sugar workers, at no cal
expense to them The
dent sugar workers are ma
"The same must be done
for non-resident workers. The
non-residents are mainly African".
The Government is being
asked to provide physical safe-
guards against squatting. "The
land must be transferred in an
orderly way, free of cost to
district councils, village com-
munities or cooperative socie-
According to one ASCRIA
Bulletin, "Black 'People must
begin to feel an emotional
hunger for land".
But the Burnham Govern-
ment, another bulletin points
out, "is entirely without an
understanding of the old villages
and their land problems".
S"After seven years of PNC
rule, Black People are looking
around to see what they got.
What have they got? Jobs for
those who can toe the line and
flatter the Party coordinators
and spies. For others, victim-
ASCRIA has now dared the
political leadership to ignore
its demands for a new deal in
land. The time has come for "a
peasants' revolt", in the face of
taken plantations following a greedy
'free policy "with the consent of the
Government and their Opposi-
dent The programme must be to
pital undo what the plantations did.
resi- "Shall we who struck the lion
inly of Alcan down pay homage to
the wolf of Bookers?"
I THE REGION
S sincere wishes
to our friends
TAM and ASSOCIATES
I. C. L. BUILDING, COR. PARK & ABERCROMBY STS. PORT OF SPAIN
a and delicious.
TAPIA PAGE 9
MEMBERS of the U.W.I.
community at the St. Augus-
tine campus have come out
in support of Trevor Munroe
and Bobby Figueroa, two
lecturers at the Mona campus
who are now facing ten
charges by UWI Vice-Chan-
cellor, Professor .Roy Marshall.
The charges arise out of a
strike of non-academic staff
at the Mona campus last
The charges have been
referred to a Professional
Committee, made up of senior
members of the academic
At a meeting held on the
St. Augustine campus during
the week, it was decided to
forward a letter of protest
to the Vice-Chancellor, and
another letter of solidarity
to the two lecturers involved.
A committee formed at
the meeting will also con-
tact progressive unions and
groups in- the country to
obtain their support on the
It was decided to await
further developments in Mona
before further action.
Tapia Secretary, Lloyd
Best, in his capacity as a
lecturer in Economics, has
been chosen by lot as one of
the Professional Committee.
SUINUAI JANUARY 28, 1973
AD VER TISEMENT
Caroni Limited, which manufactures more than ninety per
cent of our Nation's sugar, is now a local Company in every
sense of the word, and to quote, is "a full-fleged corporate
citizen of Trinidad and Tobago."
The management of the Company is controlled by a Board
which is chaired by Mr. Frank Barsotti, Permanent Secretary,
Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, and compri-es nine
persons, seven of whom are nationals of Trinidad and Tobago,
including five appointed by Government.
In addition, all the senior managerial posts in Caroni Limited
are now filled by nationals, with the single exception of the post
of Financial Controller. Further, the management will very
shortly be strengthened by the appointment of two highly
trained and experienced Trinidadians to the posts of General
Manager aid Research Director.
In order to ensure the continuation of this trend, suitably
qualified nationals from school and from the Company's own
staff are sent to the University of the West Indies and the
Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry for
training in Management, Engineering and Agriculture. Others go
to the United Kingdom for training as Chartered Accountants.
Caroni Limited, in a concerted drive to improve its training
programme, has recently transferred the entire Personnel
Department from Central Office, Couva, to Sevilla House, once
the official residence of Managing Directors of the Company.
The building offers extensive facilities for -lectures and
conferences and will soon be the venue for a wide range of
courses and training programmes in Management, Supervi-ion
and the technical skills needed in all aspect.; of the Company's
A new programme of training and welfare activities'for staff
and relatives of staff has also been planned and will include
courses ,in Local Handicraft, Home Economics, Home
Management and the development of cultural pursuits.
Apprentices will receive special attention in the form of a new
Company trade school to be opened shortly at Ste. Madeleine.
Every important Company decision is now taken in Trinidad
and Tobago -except for those pertaining to marketing in the
United Kingdom and the United States, which are more
conveniently made on the spot but subject to confirmation by
Alongside this localisation in Trinidad and Tobago Caroni
Limited is currently engaged in a vigorous programme of
For such purposes, a loan has been obtained from the
Agricultural Development Bank for the further development of
the Buffalypso herd and Dr. Ozzie Gonzalves, one of the most
senior and highly regarded Veterinary Surgeons in the West
Indies, has recently been appointed to manage and to continue
its development. It is expected that the Buffalypso will
eventually provide an excellent local source of beef for the
Operations are shortly expected to start at Trinidad Bagasse
Products Limited, of which Caroni is a major shareholder and
which will manufacture fibre board, utilising bagasse supplied b
'Research is currently being carried out at CARIRI, St.
Augustine, into the possible applications of molasses as an
animal feed. The commodity already adds betweery$2 and $3
million to the export earnings of the Company and it is
expected that the research will lead to further new uses for it.
Caroni is also involved in a project, now in its final stages of
preparation, aimed at the manufacture of Furfural from bagasse.
Proposals for the erection of a suitable plant, either at Ste.
Madeleine or Brechin Castle, are being considered by
Government and the Company.
The production of vinegar from cane juice and the possibility
of using sugar as an intermediate product by other organizations,
are further areas of diversification currently being pursued by
the Company in consultation with CARIRI and the University
of the West Indies and world-wide.
Land and housing development is also a subject of current
planning by the Company. A decision has been taken in
principle by the Board to develop land for middle income and
low-cost housing in South, Central and North Trinidad, where
the lands chosen are not suitable for cane cultivation. Firm plans
will be laid as soon as approval has been granted by the
Caroni Limited produces an average of 204,596 tons or
about 90% of the total sugar manufactured in Trinidad and
Tobago. It exports about 91% of the total sugar exported from
the country. It now employs some 15,000 persons, takes cane
from about 9,000 farmers to whom it pays approximately $10
million annually and thus injects over $35 million per year into.
circulation. It would seem that, in all, about 250,000 people in
Trinidad and Tobago are dependent either solely or in part upon
the Sugar Industry.
The future of Caroni Limited and, therefore, of the Sugar
Industry as a whole hinges to a very major extent of the results
of the 1973 crop.
Caroni took the very difficult step of beginning harvesting
and grinding operations in mid-December in order:-
1. To provide employment for sugar workers at a time when
there iS no alternative employment in sugar cultivation.
2. To reap some 32,000 tons of farmers' cane left over from
last year owing to adverse weather conditions.
3. To ensure, if possible, that its vital export quotas would be
met in 1973, a crucial year for our Sugar Industry.
Unfortunately, owing to a variety of factors, the current crop
has got off to a disappointing start. Trinidad's share of the West
Indies Sugar Association's export quota to the United Kingdom,
amounting to a basic 134,600 tons and that of the United
States, amounting to a basic 30,000 tons could be materially
affected as a result of negotiations by which the future sugar
policy of the European Economic Community is to be
determined. A further market of some 20,000 tons under the
International Sugar Agreement isalso due for review.
In all cases, Trinidad and Tobago's Sugar Industry will be
judged almost entirely on our ability demonstrated this year to
meet our agreed commitments in these vital markets, after first
having satisfied local requirements and those of our CARIFTA
Of particular significance is the fact that, despite verbal
as-urances, Britain's entry into the E.E.C. has created an
atmosphere of great uncertainty as to the future of our export
tonnage to the United Kingdom guaranteed under the
Commonwealth Sugar Agreement only until 1974 when it is due
to expire. Already there is increasing antagonism, by some
members of the Community, against the proposed acceptance of
1.4 million tons of Commonwealth cane sugar into Europe in
1975. This is regarded by Commonwealth Sugar Producers as the
minimum required to maintain production and employment at
It, therefore, becomes increasingly crucial that the 1973 crop
be a successful one, clearly stressing our ability to meet these
vital export commitments, thus 'strengthening our case when
negotiations with the E.E.C. begin this year.
The Company also provides the basis for a number of
ancilliary industries, which could all be seriously jeopardised
should Caroni fail to meet its aims for 1973. Employment,
incomes, all would be affected, particularly in the rural areas.
Notwithstanding the commencement of the crop nearly a
month earlier than usual, sugar production has to date been very
much below that manufactured at the same time last year, and
unless the problems are resolved quickly the prospectsfor the
rest of the crop do not appear very good.
If the Company should not meet its goals, not 6nly the
Company will suffer but so too will the farmers, the workers,
their families and, indeed, the Nation.
The Industry's problems are the Nation's problems.
I -. _I .~
rAu 1 UIArajm
IUJA JAUR 28 t97 TAPI PAG 11 s ILI
The motorcar in
From Page 7
to align a front end and balance the
wheels than to buy new tyres every
The roads, of course, do not make
anybody's job easier. To be honest,
some of our main roads are good. For
example: Solomon Hochoy (north bound
of course), Princess Margaret, most of
Churchill Roosevelt, Eastern Main Road
- east of Arima -, large sections of
Western Main Road, some of the Nap-
arima-Mayaro Road, most of Southern
Main Road between San Fernando and
La Brea, Beetham Highway (East bound
only), the North Coast Road east of
Our Secondary roads have by and
long, been allowed to fall apart and
WASA's digging up of all roads has not
helped at all. I noticed that they took
Sir Solomon Hochoy to Blanchisseuse.
along the North Coast, they did not take
him up that Arima to Blanchisseuse road
because they doubtlessly wanted him to
arrive in good health.
Still, that is super-highway when you
compare it with the Toco-Matelot road
or the Tamana Road running east from
Talparo or the road that runs north from
Talparo to Waller Field via Cumuto.
The Waller Field roads are now largely
gravel. No maintenance appears to have
been done since the Americans left.
Taxis have deserted the Toco-Matelot
Road and have almost deserted the more
horrible sections of the Cumuto Road.
Everyone now knows how bad the Toco-
Matelot Road is, but there are lots
more like it in our country areas.
We now know that most of the cars
are unsuitable for our conditions and
that a large number of them fall apart
before they should. Those of us who
attempt to arrest the dacay are in for a
rude shock. After-sales service is usually
After taking his car to be serviced
and seeing it come back running worse
than before, then having taken it back
three times with no improvement, one
irate owner wrote the manufacturer and
complained. For added weight, he got
together as many people as he could
find who had similar experiences with
that distributor and they all signed the
letter. The service manager of the local
garage called him in and offered to fix
his car free (the manufacturer had
obviously sent a severe reprimand). But
by this time the owner was fed up and
declined the offer.
To make matters worse, while the
manufacturer gives a 12,000 mile war-
ranty, in the country,of origin, the local
agentfsees it fit to give 4,000 miles or
three months. Clearly he has no confi-
dence in the locally assembled product.
Considering the protection the local
people enjoy, the Government should
insist on a warranty at least the equal of
the manufacturer's. What happens now
is a disgrace bordering on piracy.
On another occasion, a brand new
car, late PR, broke down on the Solomon
Hochoy Highway. The owner asked a
passing motorist to phone the agency to
come and help him out. The motorist
phoned the Port of Spain branch and
they brusquely informed him that, since
the breakdown occurred nearer to San
Fernando, he should have gotten a lift
to the San Fernando office.
Now who is going to leave his new
car (costing over $15,000) on Solomon
Hochoy Highway for the car thieves to
strip while he finds his way back to
San Fernando? Most of the local car
dealers are unaware of the meaning of
In conclusion I would like to see all
the local assembly firms in Trinidad get
together and get up one decent, well
equipped plant. Motor car manufacturing
is a maxi-volume business and our
multiplicity of mini-volume plants is.
uneconomic. They should consult with
motorist and produce a vehicle designed
for Trinidad which should survive for at
least five years without major failure.
This is not impossible. The old stan-
dard Vanguard, the Mark 2 Zephyr and
the more recent Morris Oxford easily
exceeded this life Span. Inany event in
America, the home of planned obsoles-
cence, the average car lasts eight years.
(In Sweden where they build to last it is
more like 11 or 12 years). Our car
should of course be capable of being
used as a taxi and should have enough
options to keep most people happy.
Large engines and airconditioning
should be available for those who like
power and comfort; power steering and
automatic transmission for the lazy or
the weak; a coupe style body for those
who like glamour and sex appeal and a
station wagon body for those who want
to carry vegetables and/or large families.
This design should then be taken to
a manufacturer (preferably one who
makes a car nearly like it) and they
should be invited to get up the plant.
If the design is a good one (and it will
be if it is well thought out) it will have
a good market throughout the tropics.
Witness the success of the Volkswagen
Beetle and the Land Rover.
A precedent exists for such action.
The Russians asked Fiat to redesign
their cars for Russian conditions and to
set up a plant in Russia to make them.
They wanted them beefed up for
bad roads and cold weather and they got
Why can't we do the same for bad
roads and hot weather? The nation that
invented the steelband should be per-
fectly capable of this feat.
TIME WAS when the Police Band was just a colonial
carbon. cqp_0 of any .-British regimental -band, playing
marches and European martial music as they were required
to for parades and for orienting the tastes of the natives in
weekly band concerts.
The military music never entirely dominated the repertoire. The
band could reach into the lighter "classics", or serve up Broadway
film-scores on occasion..
And at the end, to patronise sionless.
popular tastes, there would be But Mr. Prospect also waves
some calypso, some pop music his baton now to encourage
or Latin to the extent that his men to express their soul in
the bandsmen and their con- funk and boogaloo and rhythm
ductor could loosen out of their and blues as well.
military straitjacket, and that The band appears to have
such sounds could credibly be its resident policeman-calypso-
coaxed out of the classical nian who gave a creditable
tympani and oompah-oompah performance to some of the
French horns and bassoons, most spirited accompaniment
you could hear.
So the popular mauvaise "If Loving You is Wrong I
langue has been that everything Don't Want to be Right"; "Oye
the Police Band played sounded Como Va"; theme from "Shaft";
like a march. And if most and calypso befitting the accom-
people were unaware that there polished Sparrow's Troubadors.
has existed a Police Dance And therein lies part of the
Orchestra, it was only because story: the cross-fertilization that
that face of the band has never has come from police bandsmen
been exposed to those of us "gigging" with other dance in
who never make it to the
Governor's Balls. I
But time has changed if e l C8 |
not the mentality of the men
still comprising the Police Ser-
vice establishment. The Police "THAT Family Next Door"
Band, under Supt. Tony Prospect is a locally written and pro-
appears to have gone its own duced radio-serial which began
way to a significant extent in its run on January 1.
playing music, and in generating The playwright, Rupert Dou-
a spirit that is distinctively glas Archibald, is perhaps more
Trinidadian and "now". widely known for his play,
It is this new spirit that The Rose Slip", shown across
was most markedly evident in the country in 1971 to enthu-
the Police Band's television con- s iasic auiencs, s
cert rerun by TTT last Sunday director-actor with The Com-
morning. The change was visi-ocor wit Te o
ble, audible and refreshing. pany of Players, is responsible
for the production.
The military music is still "That Family Next Door"
there: Tony Prospect ramrod
there: Tony Prospect ramrod is a series of episodes in the
straight in bowtie and vest lives of the members of the
directing the squad of woman Sicard family.
police drummers whirling tas- The father is dead and the
sels, their faces set and expres- family is being run by the
W 5 VI RADIO TV
the country, backing calypso- ion instruments for different
nians and even playing on the tunes, suggesting a willingness
road. Carnival time, the music- to encourage experimentation
ally literate and competent po- and to allow the fellers to do
lice brassmen are much in de- their own thing.
mand by bands wishing to And if you remember the
boost their fanfare section. stiff, regimental precision and
S o t discipline that have diaracterised
ome of the faces that ap- the image of the band, you
peared on TTT last Sunday must have been warmed at the
are familiar to dance-goers and
are famiar to dance-goers and sight of musicians still hurrying
band-followers throughout the to their places after Prospect
country. And another thing: had raised his baton.
they are younger faces.
New instruments have been Or at the sight of bandsmen
added to facilitate this new feelingly handclapping and foot-
approach. Electric organ, elec- tapping as a trumpeter soloed.
tric guitar and base, congas, Wailing brasses, urgent bass
cowbells, tambourine and jazz lines, a throaty tenor sax taking
drum set. off on a probing, tentative
You noticed different music- improvisation. The men were
ians taking turns at the percuss- clearly enjoying themselves and
felt it appropriate to show it.
The soloists, however, seemed
to be the most technically
competent of the musicians and
not necessarily those who had
the feeling and felt free to ex-
press it as they felt.
Overall, the impact was that
of men surging to be free of the
stifling conventions, to get out
of the bowtie and vest, and to
express themselves in tones and
colours and themes different
from the dark blues and greys
and the irrelevant Star of David.
In a situation where band
music is dying out, a casualty
of the electronic age, the state-
supported police band must be
the only place where you can
get such an' exhibition of what
our musicians are capable of
The cross-fertilization must.
continue. If it is to be any-
thing, the Police Band make
its potentially powerful contri-
bution to local music in a
country where, to learn music,
as Clive Bradley put it, you
have to be born an orphan.
'ation of Doctor Paul?
matriarchal figure of Amelia
Sicard, fifty-seven and respect-
able, determined to keep up
appearances of a family tra-
She tries without much suc-
cess to dominate the lives of
her four children, Kate, Harry,
Julie and Charlie.
All of the principal actors
have had experience on stage.
Amelia Sicard is Barbara Assoon
who has been on the British
stage, television and radio for
more than 20 years.
Verna Andrevs acts Kate,
Ronald Amoroso as Harry,
Deane Boland as Julie and
Osmond Moses as Charlie all
members of the Company of
Mona Lezama as Melda, the
maid, enjoys a major role, not
unlike that of the servants in
Moliere's plays. She has been
with the family from the begin-
ning, has its confidence and is
in the position of the all-seeing
eye. Through her listeners be-
come aware of the family skele-
Locally produced soap-operas
cost more than the mass-pro-
duced, imported serials like
"Doctor Paul". But apart from
providing a few jobs for the
people involved in the pro-
duction, these soap-operas are
little more than "Doctor Paul"
and "Second Springs" gone
They are produced to suit a
taste created and developed by
years of soft soaping in senti-
mentality and the desire to
mind people business.
So after being treated to the
barrack-yard scandal of "Cala-
bash Alley", the pendulum swings
and the social bacchanal of the
middle-class is on the air for
all to hear.
It is too early yet to assess
the contribution to art of "That
Family Next Door". It is ex-
pected to run for 52 instal-
ments of 15 minutes each.
ESTHER LE GENDRE
SUNDAY JANUARY~ 28,1~973
TAPIA PAGE I I
R6 01 872
Mrs. Andrea Talbutt, /
Research Inst. for the Study of Man
162 East 78th Street,
New York 10021, N.Y., U.S.A.
IT IS difficult, really, to sympathise with the residents
of St. Clair.
To argue, as they are doing, that the mini-stadium must not be
sited at the King George V Park because it will lower the value of
their properties is to betray a selfishness that has led to the existence
of a state of war between them and the less privileged.
Moreover, to claim, as they
insist on doing, that the com-
forts of their nights will be
disturbed on those occasions
when there is activity at the
Park, is to wilfully project a
picture of unruly crowds coming
from behind the bridge dese-
crating the sanctity of the area.
It is this kind of snobbery
that gives ammunition to those
who would divide the crisis in
the country into black and
white, creating an atmosphere
of hate that may yet plunge
the country into negative and
Further, by thus tainting
their argument, the residents
of St. Clair have opened them-
selves up for blows in the
emotional outburst that has
followed and it is, perhaps,
ironical that it is the very
policies of the Government that
they have been championing in
other areas that have made
them the sitting ducks that
they now are.
For the truth is, it is not a
question of whether or not the
residents of St. Clair deserve
our sympathy. It is a question
of whether King George V Park
is the best site for the stadium
or indeed whether now is the
time to put up a stadium.
The answer to both questions
is no. Before going further it
will, perhaps, be illustrative to
look at the question from the
other side of the tracks in
this case from Laventille and
the proposed complex on the
Some time ago, Success Vil-
lage's Vigilantes managed to
sell SERVOL the idea that
Laventille needed some place
for the people to meet and play.
SERVOL took the ball and
went running. In the process,
however, the Vigilantes began
to feel that they were being
left out with the result that
three weeks ago talk of a
Laventille boycott of the pro-
It will be very difficult for
the Vigilantes to organise a boy-
cott of the project since the
residents have no idea of what
project SERVOL, the Vigilantes
or the Government is talking
about. Out of the blue came
the announcement that the
grandiose complex was going
to be set up.
Success Village could not
be more unconcerned. Nobody
had bothered to ask them what
sort of place they wanted, how
they wanted it run, or what
personnel they wanted to run it.
And whenever this writer
broached the subject he was
met by a question: whether
the levelling off of the land
area next to the Community
Centre in Angostura Street would
have to wait until whenever
the project was completed.
The point was that the youths
in the area were quite prepared
for the time being merely to
have a level, grassed field, with
adjoining netball and basketball
courts on which to play and
they interpreted the complex
proposal as another delaying
tactic, designed to bring to an
unsatisfactory halt the fight
for a playing field that they
had been waging for at least
the last 15 years.
Like the residents of St. Clair,
the people of Laventille can
claim there has been no con-
sultation. And in the same way
that the youth of Laventille
that the youth of Laventille
are concerned with the pro-
posed playing field ("how old
I'll be by the time they finish
to see after the mini-stadium
and puts one of the party-boys
Once again the back-to-front
charade begins. For, surely, we
should now be engaged in the
task or providing proper re-
sources internally and then,
when we have exhausted those
resources, then and only then
dare we challenge the world.
Surely the way to approach
the question of any kind of a
stadium at all is to ask whether
it will improve sport HERE.
Since the answer to the question
must be no (a stadium is not a
magic wand), the answer to the
problem of improving sport in
the country must lie elsewhere
- among the barebacked foot-
this complex") the youth of
the country may well ask: how
is a stadium to make up for the
playing fields that we don't.have.
All across this nation, there
are young people making do
with roads and uneven, danger-
ous pieces of land, the skills
are there but the absence of
proper playing surfaces means
that sport in the communities
Hardly a month passes with-
out somebody bemoaning the
decline of the country's sports
- in the hustle of living in
Trinidad and Tobago, today,
the supermen are harder to
come by but Government, with
its eyes on international com-
petition appoints a committee
--. ;"' : ^
WM N TA
THE YOUTH of Success
Village, Laventille are with-
out a playing field for
There has been no serious
competition of any sort for
almost five or six years in
this area where the abun-
dance of talent is the only
reason why players of the
district reach first class divi-
sion and even national level
in various sports.
Early in 1971, football was
stopped in the "Mang" as is
commonly called that nature-
prepared piece of land which
was made playable by players
themselves who erected goal-
posts and ran football com-
petitions over the years and
served as an outlet for talents
in various games.
Play was stopped by Gov-
ernment workers who dumped
truck loads of dirt on the
field. The dumping of dirt
strengthened hopes in some ole
ass promise, made by the Gov-
ernment for donkey years, to
have the ground repaired.
Although the usual mamaguy
was suspected, work was allowed
to go on. Mounds of dirt were
spread all over the playing
field, dirt with the tell-tale old
dented poseys, rusty pans and
bottles, clear evidence of canal
It was left for months before
being flattened out to cover a
larger playing field.
But up to this day, the
ground is still unplayable. Grass
has grown through the dirt
that was spread, giving the
appearance of a levelled, unused
Although the people of the
village have grown accustomed
to neglect and mamaguy, nu-
merous attempts were made
through the avenues available
to have the ground completed
but the excuse remains the
same: "Top soil is needed and
the Government does not know
where to get it". Imagine that!
Last year, a seven-a-side foot-
ball competition served as a
substitute for the entertain-
ment of hundreds who flocked
from far and wide to look at
at and play on a ground cleared
of old, rusty, unused swings,
merry-go-rounds and other faci-
lities which are found in a play-
ground of that type and which
do not fit into a district like
Success Village. But this ground
is a long way from serving the
thickly populated district.
" Cricket'has been reduced to
wind-ball matches in the dusty
streets. The many netballers,
basketballers, athletes, and foot-
ballers travel as far as Port of
Spain and Aranguez in San Juan
Success Village R.C. School
is an every day football centre;
the game taking place on a
netball court paved with asphalt.
This, however, helps to lessen
the frustration caused by over-
unemployment and also by the
absence of proper sporting faci-
Never happen: The residents
of Success Village, Laventille
have passed the stage of begging.
They would no longer com-
plain to the Government or
remind them of their promises,
but the inner grumblings of
their dissatisfaction, like a dor-
mant volcano can be heard
through the length and breadth
of the district.
The villagers know what they
want and what they do not
want. They are fed up with the
type of Government which per-
sists to ignore the pleas of poor
people, they will plead no more.
They realize a hard fight is
ahead in order to effect a much
The grumblings will increase
one of these days to an ex-
plosion, which would be heard
throughout the entire country
and with the proper direction,
serve as an example for other
similarly affected people to
bailers, basketballers and the
like daily jumping around trash
cans and skipping across canals
in an effort to find an outlet
for the sport that is in them.
That is why it is not the
residents of St. Clair who should
be protesting the setting up of
a mini-stadium but every sport-
minded person in the country
who is concerned with sport in
the nation and not with any
public-relation exercise aimed
at proving that we, too, can
have a stadium.
Of course, even when we
reach the point where we can
tell ourselves that a stadium is
justified, the last place we will
think of putting it is in Port of
Already Port of Spain is an
overcrowded city. And rather
than embark on a programme of
freeing space the Government
is opting for further walling-up
of yet another area and to
solve the problem of parking
there is this lunacy of iyifig-
down a car park in the Queen's
Why must we always give in
to this Port of Spain straight-
jacket? The people who con-
tribute to sport in the country
come from outside Port of Spain
from East, Central and South
Trinidad look at the sports-
men who have to scrounge for
passage to come to the city
to practise and to play.
But the whole stadium exer-
cise is illustrative. At one time
the Prime Minister was calling
for consultation on a national
stadium, at another he decided
that we could not afford a
stadium. In-between land for it
was pin-pointed in Mucurapo;
and now finally, we find that
we are neither having a stadium
nor not having one. Instead. we
shall have a mini-stadium next
to the Queen's Park Oval which,
if we were to insist on this
madness of having a stadium in
Port of Spain, has all the mak-
ings of a stadium already.
Improvisation with no serious
back-room and background plan-
ning all the time. Throw up
structures and people bong to
feel yuh doing thing. At one
time, perhaps, not again. The
rumble of discontented sports-
men will continue to be heard
whether or not Government
goes ahead with this project.
The world will continue to
cut our arse until we decide
that we must play for our-
selves and not to win the
gushings of the international
Press or the envy of our Carib-
ED BY THE TAPIA HOUSE PRINTING CO. LTD. FOR THE TAPIA HOUSE PUBLISHING CO. LTD. 91 TUNAPUNA ROAD',TUNAPUNA.
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